Amy Perrey's Blog

Reflections October 6th
October 7, 2009, 3:42 am
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Sue Waters Blogging: Connecting and Learning

Blogging with Students:

I was able to use blogging with my students last year and it was perfect for writing class (creative writing). The students would post their stories and then they would comment on each others stories, giving them feedback. We discussed before the class about feedback and how to give proper feedback. The parents would then look at the students sites and give feedback as well. This is great way and  Sue Waters talked about in blogging with students tonight about evaluate – review- reflect.  The students need first an outline of what is expected of them and I think that is for any lesson the students create. If the students are commenting on other students stories they are learning more about writing and looking at peer editing. Comments can create communication that is very important. Just as important as the actual blog. Blogging can changes how you can learn. When the students start to use blogging everyday and especially in school they are constantly  reflecting and from reflecting they are learning. REFLECT, REFLECT, REFLECT!

Concerns about Blogging:

1) I think there will always be concerns with anything we do with technology and the internet. I will just reflect back on last years students and the outline we used with their blogs. We first sent home a letter to the parents letting them know what was going on and how the blogs would be used, it was like a permission letter and the parents signed off for the students. Now some parents didn’t know much about blogs so they didn’t comment. I also kept a classroom blog (that I tried to update), but it turned out to only be a place to give information. It turned more into a website then a discussion for the classroom. It was a learning curve….I know better ways now from the few classes to set it up better.

2)Some are worried about what students will post on their blog. Students say silly things at times. If they are going to write it on paper, they will most likely write it on a blog. Last year students had to write it out on paper first and get a peer/teacher edit before it went up on the blog. Parents were given the links to the students blogs, so if the student was going to write something inappropriate his or her guardian would see it. But this didn’t happen. We talked in class about blogging and writing etiquette and commenting.

Mrs Perrey Students blogging assignments

Student Blog and Student comments – make sure to sign in to Google reader and to subscribe to the students comments sections. You want to be part of the learning process with your students. What great advice I have done Blogs with my students and I will just say that using Google reader is going to save so much time and help me see the students learning.

TIPS For Using Blogging In The Classroom

1. Send home parent permission letters – give them all the information of what you will be doing (could even have a parents night, this way the parents can learn what blogging is and how to use it)

2. Teach students blogging etiquette

3. Help and Guide your students through the blogging process

Tips from tonight: Loved that we got to interact in class with writing on the visual wall! New tool that I had not seen before or that it was even capable. It was like using the Smartboard in the classroom.


Why you should use Pingback:

1. Reference certain posts and links to the site you talked about

2. If mention a person you should Pingback  because of respect and credit to that person.

Sue Waters question

1. I have only done a few blogging classes and was wondering if you knew of any great sites that have great lessons that use social networking?

2. Have you blogged in the classroom with students, what tips or tricks would you suggest are the most beneficial? Is there any  blogging sites that allow you to have your own blog  can give students access too?

3. How do you keep promoting blogs and social networking when you have a limit of computers in your classroom? How do you manage time…classroom managment? Everyone loves to be on the computer and with no computer lab and only a few computers in the classroom it can be hard to get them on the computer…any suggestions?


17 Comments so far
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Wow, well done! I am quite apprehensive about starting up blogs in my Chemistry class. Did you find it difficult to use blogs and completed all learning objectives? My content is so vast and little time can be wasted. Also, could we obtain the letters that you sent home with students? Thanks for your ideas.

Comment by jeffgreenslade

Hi Jeff,

I understand your concerns about getting through the content. There is a lot of material to get through, especially in the secondary core subjects. Any time we introduce something new, whether it is blogging or some other strategy or tool, I think the question we need to ask ourselves, is if it is truly time wasted. I haven’t used blogging in a class with students either, and it is scary to think about starting. What if it bombs? I think the important thing to keep in mind, is that we need to leave room for failure. If we don’t allow ourselves room to fail, then we never really learn anything new.

Comment by rmunkler

Jeff, just a short comment about finding it hard to imagine blogging for your class because of the amount of material. I went to a session last week where Dean Shareski
showed us a few classrooms who were using blogging with great success – and you could argue that there was even more math/chemistry/calculus going on in that blog space than in their classroom…. the link Dean gave me to get some other “scribers” would be this:
Go to the Oct 21 entry for the links to examples of class blogs – especially math at higher levels. The main idea he had to get students using it was to assign each student to be the class “Scribe” for the day- and to post the day’s teaching notes, examples, sample questions, etc to the class blog and help answer any homework questions that day, along with collaboration from the rest of the class. Very powerful – and the students are the ones uploading and creating the content, not the teacher. Over the span of a semester, each student may have to do a couple of these… I took that idea away as a “cool” factor for how to really get kids using blogs that you might find useful. Contact Dean if you have more questions as he talks with many of them frequently and he is sometimes in our Tuesday night sessions.

Comment by tchcruiser

‘Loved that we got to interact in class with writing on the visual wall!’ Normally I use the writing on the whiteboard a lot more and really try to encourage the conversation using the mic. It was hard with time constraints to do that tonight.

1. I have only done a few blogging classes and was wondering if you knew of any great sites that have great lessons that use social networking?

I’m not sure of your question. Do you mean lessons on blogging or on social networking? And for students? or yourself?

2. What tips or tricks would you suggest are the most beneficial?

Start slowly using the class blog with the students first learning to comment. As they get responsible give them the rights to their own blog or ability to post on the class blog. Sort of like a pen license. One approach is to each week give 5 students their blogs and then get the more experienced students help teach the new ones.

Monitoring blogs using Google Reader (which you know about already).

Is there any blogging sites that allow you to have your own blog can give students access too?

Yes there are lots but because I work for a blogging company it would be best if others discussed all the different options.

3. Only a few computers in the classroom it can be hard to get them on the computer…any suggestions?

A good trick that works is you have a list next to the computers in the room. Students during the day go use the comment and mark off their name when they’ve completed the turn. That way you rotate them through using the computers.

PS great link for blogging etiquette.

@Jeff It might help you to check out the science class blogs here to get an idea of how science teachers use them with their students.

Comment by Sue Waters

Sorry Sue…
For question number 1 – I was wondering if you had any good websites of lesson plans for blogging with students. Thanks so much for the tips and advice!

Comment by perrey

We all worry as educators that a student may generate controversy with their post or comment through misconceptions or immature beliefs. The probability is that a student will make a comment or post something that is on the edge of inappropriate or is out right rude. How do we deal with a student and this inappropriate action? Restrict blog access? Some sort of sanctions? And finally are there any actions that would warrant a student being removed from the network?

Comment by ccshumay

I think we have to deal with this the same way we would if the student was talking inappropriate. It depends on the school, some may take away the blog access but then are they still learning the same as the others? I think we have to look at what the student has done and what the outcome is. Before students can start blogging this will have to be discussed with the class, the students should know the a consequences. I got the students to email myself their passwords and discussed with them they could lose access to the priviledge of blogging, I never had a issue but I know that it can happen as tasteach56 said.

Comment by perrey

Amy- Interestingly enough I was thinking of just this approach during Sue’s lecture. I was thinking how blogging can be used to manage the writing process in a digital way. It may help to engage the students more. Something I wondered about later was when Jan Smith said to not use blogging as a digital inbox. Do you think that your method did this or was it more? I think it’s a great way to start students blogging.

Comment by Allison Treble

Amy and Allison,

I was wondering the same thing, and it was actually one of my questions to Sue. Does using the writing process in a blog improve the quality of the blog entries (whether it be as part of a structured assignment like creating a story in your blog or just pre-writing, drafting, editing, and revising to make sure the post is “publish quality”)? At the same time, does it stifle the conversation quality of a blog?

Comment by rmunkler

Hi Jeff and Allison

I just wanted to say that I think it is a great tool to use writing in the classroom, but for our class we had to do a few pre-writing activties away from the computer first and the final copy was put onto the blog. But I think we could do editing on the blog to? or maybe they could have a wiki? I don’t know the answer myself.

Comment by perrey

Hey Allison,
You know I’m not sure, I know it was a great introduction to the blogging world and it gave them the principals of how to start. But we could of definitely gone further with this for sure. But it was the first time I had done it with my class and I have learned a lot. Next time editing would be done on the computer, more comments made from peers and family. I would also take it to other subject areas too! What do you think?

Comment by perrey

@ccshumay Just today I had to deal with just that problem – an inappropriate post by a student. She is not in my class, may not have been taught about being internet savvy and she probably has a facebook account.

After a f2f discussion with her, she decided she might have to take it down as she didn’t realise future employers might be reading it. She also was a bit worried once I told her that even though she takes it off her blog, readers could still get to it if they wanted by going to a cache of her blog.

I am co-administrator of over 200 blogs at my school and have each blog’s posts and comments as feeds into my Google reader account. I read the posts and comments after the students have published and moderated them. I then go to the blog to leave comments to remind students if they need to be more internet savvy when publishing to the world.

Comment by Miss W.

That is great there are so many blogs! What grades use the blogs and what kind of subjects do they use them in? 😉

Comment by perrey

Wow, that is impressive! You are doing just what I want to be doing and I am intending on doing with one class in my school. Thanks for the blogging etiquette site information. I think that we always run that risk of imapproriate blogging but that is why modeling is that much more important. We can’t expect them to know what we have not taught them to do properly. We want them to learn from each other and we must give them some freedom to do that-don’t you think?

Comment by sm45rt

Yes I think we have to give them freedom but they should know what the consequences are. Do you think there should be different consequences for blogging?

Comment by perrey

Hi Amy,
Thanks for your wonderful information. I think that it will definately help me with this course and future courses that I may be taking.

Comment by celiadeschambeault

[…] you may have notice I really tried to use Pingback to some of the things I talked about in my previous blogs. I can now use terminology that I never […]

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